Samsung puts finishing touches on DDR3 memory

Samsung is putting the finishing touches on tis DDR3 memory for PCs.

Samsung Electronics Co. is putting the finishing touches on its DDR3 memory chips ahead of their commercial release later this year.

On Monday, Samsung revealed that 21 of its DDR3 (double data rate 3) memory chips and modules have been validated by Intel. This validation, which certifies the memory chips are compatible with Intel's PC chipsets, is one of the final steps toward commercial release of the chips.

DDR3 is the long-awaited successor to DDR2 memory, now the most common memory type used in PCs. The newer chips will offer data transfer speeds up to 1.6G bits per second, twice the memory bandwidth of DDR2. That means better performance for both 3-D graphics and multithreaded applications that tap the power of multi-core processors. The chips will also consume less power -- around 1.5 volts compared to 1.8 volts for DDR2 -- which means longer notebook battery life, Samsung said.

The South Korean electronics maker will begin volume production of DDR3 chips before the end of next month, in time to start commercial sales during the second half of the year.

Other memory makers are also gearing up for DDR3 shipments. Earlier this month, Hynix Semiconductor said its DDR3 chips, which go into production during the third quarter, had been validated by Intel.

Users will get a taste of what Samsung has in store for them at Microsoft's WinHEC conference, which runs this week. The company is showing a PC with 8G bytes of DDR3 memory. The system is based on four DDR3 memory modules and designed to show the kind of system that will be available to gamers.

While DDR3 gets close to its commercial debut, most PC users won't see the chips in their systems until early 2009, when they replace DDR2. The crossover point where shipments of DDR3 exceed DDR2 will come in early 2009 or late 2008, depending on how fast memory makers can drive down prices, Tae-Sung Jung, the senior vice president of Samsung's memory division, said in November.

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